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Posted on: December 20, 2019

Alleged MS-13 Clique Leader Indicted for 2017 Hempstead Murder

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that an alleged MS-13 leader has been indicted for a March 2017 murder in Hempstead.

Ramon Martines, 36, of Hempstead, was arraigned today before Judge Terence Murphy on grand jury indictment charges of:

  • Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony)
  • Conspiracy in the First Degree (an A-I felony)
  • Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony)

The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on January 31. If convicted of the top charge, he faces a potential maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison

“The defendant – alleged to be a high-ranking clique leader of MS-13 – is charged with sanctioning the senseless murder of a 39-year old man as he walked on Front Street after a long day at work,” DA Singas said. “MS-13 has waged war on our immigrant communities and with this arrest, we’ve removed an alleged clique leader and made our communities safer.” 

DA Singas said that on March 20, 2017, the defendant – the alleged head of the Hempstead Locos Salvatrucha clique of MS-13 on Long Island – acting in concert with others drove from Uniondale to Hempstead looking for a member of the rival 14th Street gang to shoot and kill in retaliation for an assault on an MS-13 member.

The group circled the area several times searching for a member of the 14th Street gang. Eventually, the group spotted the victim, 39-year-old Nelson Rodriguez, of Hempstead, who was walking westbound on Front Street after work at an auto body shop. Though Rodriguez was not a member of the 14th Street gang, defendant Pedro Rivera – who was armed with a gun – was ordered to kill the victim because he was a perceived enemy of MS-13. As the alleged leader of the clique, the murder was allegedly sanctioned by the defendant.

Rivera exited the vehicle and began walking on Front Street towards the victim. Rivera passed the victim and then turned around and shot Rodriguez once in the head. After he fell to the ground, Rivera shot him again in the back.

Multiple witnesses immediately called 911 and the victim was transported to Nassau County University Medical Center where he later died.

Co-defendants Rivera and Carlos Flores were convicted at trial for their roles in the murder and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison on October 1, 2019.

Co-defendant Hector Lazo’s case is pending sentence.

The NCDA thanks Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, NCPD Homicide Squad, NCPD Third Precinct, NCPD Electronics Squad and the Social Security Administration for their assistance in this case.

Assistant District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt, Deputy Chief of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau, is prosecuting this case. Martines is represented by Steven Barnwell, Esq.

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